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Alistair Noon by Karl Hurst Hires

Feb
2017
Wednesday 8th
posted by Jody Porter in Arts

Well Versed is edited by Jody Porter


Account of the Manufactures carried out at Aylesbury and the Processes employed by the Natives in Linking and Spray-Painting Car Radio Components
Alistair Noon

The windows grime-gems in the roofing. Works
and management pool
the canteen, demarcate their basins.
The Job rocks up like a truckload of sand,
the alloyed brackets
duned in the dangling skip
that Louis swings with his knuckle-chunk hands,
in his Danube overalls
and silvery Budapest quiff,
decouples and drops with a crash.
Then he breaks for a smoke
with the little old bloke from Aerials
in Hungarian, German, Ukrainian and Polish.
We speak the lot,
their English cackles. Rashid
is stalking along all sullen and silent
in his grey works coat,
his smile ever closer to obsolescence.
Anna and the Italians hold their all-day
skills session in blue aprons,
below-knee skirts and carpety slippers.
Mary grabs the next batch from the skip,
unleashes the tray,
and the future radios gush out,
like a shift departing the far glass doors.
The craft is to hitch them
like moulded planes from a ceiling,
hook by hook, morning to evening –
though tonight we have overtime,
Saturday and Sunday till four –
or mask up and hang the hooked components
at the front of a dryer
the size and shape of a dustcart,
each wobbling tower of metal a team
of roped-up climbers
about to enter a crevasse.
We evenly spray them with snow in the seconds
before they vanish,
then rescue them off the far end.
I got the job through the Old Boys' network,
Andy Riley's dad
was the head of HR. Fringe benefits:
the jokes and the chats, the crisp
and opaque pay packets,
the advent calendar of the punch clock.

 

 

Alistair Noon's publications include two books published in 2015, The Kerosene Singing (Nine Arches Press) and Surveyors' Riddles (collaboration with Giles Goodland, Sidekick Books). He lives in Berlin.

Well Versed is edited by Jody Porter (wveditor@gmail.com)
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